Yesterday was my six-month anniversary of going gluten-free. On June 2, I got a phone-call from my doctor, going over the results of some bloodwork, and was told I should stop eating gluten as soon as possible. I resolved myself to a life without gluten, and hopefully some relief from almost-daily joint pain, which on a bad day made it hard even to walk across campus. Now, months later, I have learned a lot and feel amazing compared to where I was in June. Like, I can go on hikes and don't need to spend two days recovering. I have more than two hours of energy each day. Not all of my symptoms are gone, but I am very happy with where I am at compared to just a few months ago. Cooking gluten-free still isn't intuitive, but I think I have gotten a lot better at it. There are very few things the Man has deemed inedible, anyway. So in conclusion, life is pretty awesome right now.
But gluten isn't the whole story. I am dairy-free now too, and I was a lot less dignified when I found that out in July. There were tears, and anger. Now, though, when someone finds out that I am gluten and dairy-intolerant, the reaction tends to be “That sucks, what do you eat?” I am happy to say that there is a lot I can eat. I just have to be a little more creative now. Creativity was part of what inspired this bread recipe.
This particular bread was my response to trying to accommodate a family member with a more limited diet then myself, so that she could eat some bread at our Thanksgiving gathering. There are a lot of good reasons to limit one's sugar intake, and if you make this using the stevia as a sweetener, then the only sugar in the bread is the little bit naturally in the pumpkin. When stevia-sweetened, the bread is almost savory. With the agave or honey, it is only slightly sweet. I enjoyed it both ways.
Gluten, dairy, and sugar-free
2 Tbs ground flax seed
3 Tbs near-boiling water
15 oz pumpkin puree
3 Tbs agave nectar or honey (see below for stevia substitution)
2 Tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil or melted butter)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup almond flour
½ cup brown rice or sorghum flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large glass bowl, mix together the flax and hot water until they form a paste. Allow it to sit for a minute or two.
Flax seed paste replaces the need for xanthan gum, and adds structure to the bread.
Add in the pumpkin, eggs, agave, oil, and vinegar, and whisk together with an electric beater for a minute.
Wet ingredients together. I know this is a whisk and not an electric beater; using the latter helps the bread rise more. A whisk works, though!
Grease a baking pan (or line with parchment paper) and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, and allow the bread to cool before slicing, otherwise it will crumble.
Modifications: if you have a nut allergy, the almond flour can be replaced by another flour like sorghum or quinoa. An extra teaspoon or two of oil may be needed, though, as almond flour has a lot of fat in it.
To make this truly sugar free, replace the agave with two or three teaspoons of steavia powder, and add an extra egg white in with the wet ingredients.